Certificate in Attachment Theory and Skills

Our application deadline has passed but if you are interested in one of our training courses, please get in touch ASAP as we are sometimes able to take late applications if spaces are available.

10-day course, running monthly on Saturdays from September 2024 to July 2025

Take a deep dive into John Bowlby’s attachment theory exploring attachment behaviours and the lifelong need for attachment, from infancy to adulthood. This course delves into how different attachment styles influence personal and professional relationships, aiding individuals in comprehending their own patterns and fostering healthier interactions with others, whether as partners, caregivers, parents, friends, or within professional contexts such as client relations and leadership dynamics.

Application Deadline: 30th June 2024 – Apply Here


10 weeks (Sept 2024 – July 2025)

Start Date:

September 2024


Online (non-recorded sessions)

Course Fee: 


Course Aims

To provide you with:

  • an introductory knowledge and understanding of attachment theory and research
  • an understanding of your own attachment patterns, how these have developed to protect you and how these might impact on your professional and personal life
  • an understanding of how you can apply attachment patterns and these protective strategies to your personal and professional lives, for example as parents/caregivers/ partners, teachers, health and social care workers, and friends
  • an opportunity through skills work and being in a ‘boundaried’ facilitated group to learn more about yourself and how you interact with others and why and how they interact and impact on us

Who is the course aimed at?

All are welcome to apply for this course as we believe that most people will benefit from an understanding of attachment theory as it can be applied to both your personal and professional life.

Those who may be thinking of applying may be:

  • Those interested in exploring training as an attachment-based psychoanalyst
  • Anyone involved in or interested in the care and welfare of children, including parents and carers, foster parents and parents through adoption, step-parents, child minders, grandparents, and nursery workers.
  • All health workers- providing care for all ages through the life cycle, as attachment is life-long.
  • Those working in maternity services, pre-natal and post-natal services, and doulas
  • Hospice workers and death doulas
  • Social Care workers and assistants
  • Teachers and teaching assistants from nursery to university
  • Team leaders and managers
  • Religious leaders
  • Those working in the voluntary sector

What are the dates of the course? 2024-2025

2024 Autumn Term 1

  • September 21st
  • October 5th
  • November 23rd
  • December 7th

2025 Spring Term 2

  • January 18th
  • February 8th
  • March 15th

2025 Summer Term 3

  • May 17th
  • June 28th
  • July 19th

The course spans ten weeks, with sessions delivered once a month on Saturdays online.

The course will take place from 10am-4pm with breaks

Approximate timings:

• Theoretical seminars 10.00-12.30

• Lunch 12.30-1.15

• Skills based seminar 1.15- 2.45

• Experiential group 3pm-4pm

NB: Weeks one and ten will be from 10-5:15pm as they will include space for a group tutorial with the course tutor.

The course participants are expected to attend consistently and on time.

You will be asked to contribute their own thoughts and ideas and will be able to link these with your own personal lives and/or professional lives.

You will be asked to keep your own journal in whatever way suits you.

To write a short reflective piece towards the end of the course to consolidate your learning from the course.

You will be required to maintain respect for and confidentiality of other participants contributions.

To be prepared to actively engage in all the activities including the skills based training and the experiential group.

To have access to technology which enables a Zoom link.

To attend the course from a private space which maintains confidentiality with minimal disruption when you are online.

To complete any pre-course reading or other preparation such as watching a webinar or listening to a podcast.

Yes, there will be an application form and a short interview for the course of approximately 30 minutes.  The interview fee is £50

There are no formal criteria for a place on the course. We are looking for participants who actively want to learn about attachment theory and will engage in the learning process.

No, there is no assessment process, and no grades will be given during the course.  Your reflective writing will be discussed with your tutor.

The certificate is for attendance on the course. The full certificate is awarded through an 80% or above attendance at the course.

If your attendance is below 80% we can still award you a certificate of attendance for the seminars actually attended.

About This Course

This course will provide you with an introduction to John Bowlby’s attachment theory.  You will learn about the attachment system and attachment behaviours, and the lifelong need for attachment ‘from cradle to grave’.

It is aimed at those seeking a deeper understanding of how attachment impacts on our personal and professional lives. It is therefore suitable for anyone who is looking at their own personal development perhaps in their own relationships as a partner/s, caregiver, parent, and friend, as well as the professional seeking a deeper knowledge of attachment which can be applied to their client group and in work relationships, including leadership.

You will learn about how different people will seek to create intimacy and closeness in their relationships and others seek to avoid it. How those who appear ‘clingy’ and those who appear ‘withdrawing’ may seek each other out and have a particular relationship dance which causes ongoing distress and unhappiness. How some may feel panicked at the slight hint of rejection, and yet others appear rejecting. How some people find it easy to trust and rely on others and yet other people believe that others can’t be trusted or relied on. How some people seek independence and self-reliance, yet others seek dependence. Some will find themselves spending much of their time thinking and talking about their relationships, and others don’t at all. How some may have such an inconsistent way of relating that they can often confuse and frighten others away. How, despite love, without an understanding of attachment styles, we can be drawn time and again into having volatile relationships, destroying the relationships we most value and care for, with little or no understanding of why this is happening.

How the way we have been ‘parented’ will impact on our attachment style, and how this can go back through our family’s generations. How the way we then go onto parent can be linked to our attachment style. How some parents/caregivers can often blame themselves for not being ‘good enough’ without understanding their own attachment style and how this may have impacted on and still be impacting on their parenting style. With an attachment perspective there is no blaming or shaming, but understanding.

How children and young people will have their own attachment styles and the impact this can have on their relationships with their parents/carers, their teachers, their making and keeping friendships, their way of being in the classroom, and their attendance patterns at school.

How all professionals, whatever their role, will be carrying into their workplace their own attachment style. This will impact on how they carry out their work, their relationships with their colleagues, their attitude towards leadership, how they lead, and their relationship with authority.

This seminar will introduce the development of attachment theory, with a brief outline of the history of attachment theory, focusing on John Bowlby, his life and the development and core ideas of attachment theory.

We will learn about the attachment system and attachment behaviours, the scientific base of attachment, and the lifelong need for attachment ‘from cradle to grave’.   We will discuss the concepts of the secure base and the circle of security.   You will get to understand typical relational patterns of clinging and pursuing vs withholding and withdrawing whereby both party’s patterns can be exacerbated and how this, if not understood, can lead to unnecessary arguments or break up.

We will explore the impact of separation on the child from its primary caregiver.  Why are children so distressed by the absence of their primary caregiver?  What is our understanding of separation anxiety? We will also look at “psychological separation’, the emotional absence of the physically present caregiver and its impact on the child.  We will make links to where this translates to adult relationships and where this can activate both attachment strategies in a partnership and how this can lead to a long term animosity or stalemate situation between a couple who, deep down, love each other.

This seminar will explore Bowlby’s view of mourning as a psychological process, bereavement as an irreversible form of separation.  You will learn about Bowlby’s view of grief as attachment behaviour, and its links with depression. You will be learning about how individuals, when they are unable to grieve or even know that early grief from childhood has been triggered can fall into un-useful ways of being.

This seminar will focus on the quality of the child’s attachment to its caregiver.  You will learn about Mary Ainsworth’s development of the Strange Situation test to classify childhood attachment patterns, and of the features of different attachment styles.  You will be starting to understand how your early patterns have been shaped by the experience you have had of ‘care’, or lack of care and of your life experiences.

This seminar will focus on the assessment of adult attachment styles, and their correspondence to childhood attachment patterns.  You will learn about Mary Main’s development of the Adult Attachment Interview, and how to recognize different attachment styles in others. How we have all learnt, usually be the age of one, patterns of relating (internal working models), that we take into our adult lives, impacting on how we make friends, the sort of partner we are, the potential partners we may be attracted to, how we ‘parent’ children, and how we relate to others in the workplace.

This seminar will explore how you can recognise the preoccupied attachment styles and how this may impact on yourself, others and your relationships both personal and professional. How this strategy and patterns (internal working models) may impact on us and others and can often be un-useful or wreak havoc in our contact with others.  We will consider how an early history of, often unreliable, hot and cold, rejecting or intrusive caregiving, alternating with love and care, can lead to a preoccupied pattern of relating to others.

This seminar will explore how you can recognise the dismissive avoidant attachment style, and how this strategy may impact on yourself, others, and your relationships both personal and professional. We will consider how an early history, often of neglect, may lead to an avoidant dismissive style and the internal working model which may be present.

This seminar will focus on the disorganised attachment style, its origins in relational trauma, and its effects on adult mental health.  You will learn about the whole range of emotional expression, from feelings of being uncontained and explosive to feelings of flatness and dullness.

This seminar will provide you with an opportunity to revisit the learning from the previous seminars and to understand how you can use this learning in all areas of your life.